Growing Gaps: Educational Inequality around the World

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As inequality grows rapidly both in post-industrial societies and in the high-growth economies of the developing world, its centrality and ubiquity among problems of interest to social scientists is becoming only more apparent. And among all of inequality's causes and manifestations, access to education is key to understanding and combating it, both for improving a person's individual life chances and for increasing countries' national wealth.

In Growing Gaps, Paul Attewell and Katherine S. Newman bring together an impressive group of scholars to closely examine the relationship between inequality and education. Indeed as many countries grow economically, it is unclear whether this growth leads directly to increased opportunity or more ferocious competition and thus more severe inequality. In many growing economies there has been a staggering growth of private higher education as demand for opportunity has outpaced supply, and families who must fund this human capital accumulation are only burdened with more and more debt. Outlining the world-wide race for educational advantage, this volume takes a comparative approach, aiming to not only describe various nations' systems of education, but weave them together in a larger network of stratification. Covering almost every continent, Growing Gaps provides an overarching and essential examination of who is actually able to benefit from economic growth and who, because of the educational demands it brings about, it shuts out. The book will serve as a lasting achievement towards understanding the root causes of inequality in an increasingly interconnected global society where the worsening situations for some increasingly effect all of us.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Growing Gaps provides a variety of case studies that illuminate the causes and consequences of inequality globally. The readings highlight how education still plays a significant role in social mobility and social reproduction across nations. There are real theoretical and empirical gems contained within these pages."
—Richard Arum, Professor of Sociology and Education, New York University

"Paul Attewell provides a perceptive overview of sharply differing views on the function of education in today's world..."
—Contemporary Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199732180
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Attewell is a Professor of Sociology who teaches in the doctoral programs in sociology and in urban education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His most recent book, co-authored with David Lavin, was Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? It won the 2009 Grawemeyer Award in Education and also the American Education Research Association's Outstanding Book Award for 2009.
Katherine S. Newman is the Malcolm Forbes Class of 1941 Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and the Director of the Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University. Newman's most recent books include The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America (2007) and Laid Off, Laid Low: The Social and Political Consequences of Employment Instability (2008). Her forthcoming book, Brothers' Keepers? The Limits of Solidarity from the New Deal to the Era of Inequality was coauthored with Elisabeth Jacobs.

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Table of Contents

Access to Education: Mobility Tool or Roadblock of Stratification?
Katherine Newman Ch. 1
Education and Inequality In a Global Context Paul Attewell Ch. 2
Educational Inequality in Latin America Christian Cox Ch. 3
Entrance into prestigious universities and the performance of discriminated groups on the vestibular: Black Students in the University of São Paulo, 2001-2007
Antonio S. Guimaraes Ch. 4
Education and Racial Inequality in Post Apartheid South Africa Malcolm Keswell Ch. 5
Social Class and Educational Inequality in South Korea Kwang-Yeong Shin, Byoung-Hoon Lee Ch. 6
Equal Opportunity in Higher Education in Israel: Lessons from the Kibbutz Yaakov Gilboa, Moshe Justman Ch. 7
Socio-political Changes and Inequality in Educational Opportunities in China: 1940 - 2001
Li Chunling Ch. 8
Middle-class Losers?: The role of emotion in educational careers Yi-Lee Wong Ch. 9
The After Life of NEETS Karen Robson Ch. 10
Over education and Social Generations in France: Welfare Regimes and Inter Cohort Inequalities in Returns to Education Louis Chauvel Ch. 11
Education and the Labor Market: The Case of Poland Pawel Polawski Ch. 12
The Socio-Economic Integration of Immigrants in the EU Effects of Characteristics of Origin and Destination Countries on the First and Second Generation Fenella Fleischmann, Jaap Dronkers Ch. 13
Gender, Perceptions of Opportunity, and Investment in Schooling Angel Harris

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